Recognizing the importance of education in improving the lives of Filipinos, a Palace official expressed support for a new government initiative that will focus on raising the quality of education on several fronts.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles backed the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Sulong EduKalidad or Sama-samang Pagsulong ng EduKalidad (National Effort for Quality Basic Education) program which was launched last Tuesday.
Under the program, the department aims to improve on four key areas namely updating of the K-12 curriculum to keep it responsive; instituting improvements in the learning environment of our students; encouraging multi-stakeholder support and cooperation (private sector, LGUs, immediate community; civil society); and adopting programs focused on the upskilling and reskilling of teachers to address current gaps.
In a statement, Nograles emphasized the need for such a program to help enhance the learning outcomes of students amid declining assessment scores.
“We have the resources to make this program work, we have a national government that is behind you 100 percent, and we have a President who is a believer in the power of education to uplift the lives of our people,” Nograles said.
Nograles, an education advocate, said investing in education has yielded positive results such as improved enrollment rates among all levels.
He said net enrollment rates (NER) in kindergarten, elementary, junior, and senior high school continue to rise, with primary and secondary NERs up to 94.2 percent and 76 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, the country’s cohort survival rate (CSR) and completion rates have consistently risen while dropout rates have been decreasing at both the primary and secondary levels, he added.
From 2015 to 2017, he said primary and secondary CSR rose to 93.7 percent and 85.6 percent respectively, while completion rates rose to 92.4 percent at the primary level and 84.3 percent at the secondary level.
Citing economists, Nograles said investments in education is “essential to economic development” since studies show that educated populations are more productive and earn higher salaries.
“There is also little doubt that there is a correlation between a country’s level of education and its national income — a truism that explains why nations around the world, on average, spend 5 percent of their gross domestic product or 20 percent of their national budgets on education,” Nograles said.
“The same philosophy is reflected in our Constitution, which has a specific provision that requires Congress to ensure that education is given the highest allocation in the national budget,” he added.
Under the proposed PHP4.1-trillion national budget for 2020, the lion’s share of the budget will go to the education sector– PHP525.88 billion to the DepED and PHP67.31 to state universities and colleges. (PNA)